Reward Offered in Fort Griffin Burglary

Media Contact: TPWD News Business Hours, 512-389-8030

News Image Share on Facebook Share Release URL

Note: This item is more than 19 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.

ALBANY, Texas — Out West, where frontier-era scofflaws like Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid once flaunted the law in the late 1800s, some things never change.

Modern-day outlaws broke into the headquarters of Fort Griffin State Park and Historic Site over the weekend, making off with a number of 19th century firearms. The Old Fort Griffin Memorial Regiment, a park friends’ group, is offering a $300 reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen antique guns.

Sunday morning, park employees discovered the break-in that occurred Saturday night, said Lester Galbreath, manager of the historic fort established by the U.S. military in 1867 during the Indian Wars. He said it was the first burglary there where artifacts were stolen that he could recall.

According to Galbreath, the thief or thieves made off with an 1873 Winchester rifle, a Spencer rifle, 1863 Sharp’s carbine, 1860 Colt Army pistol, 1851 Navy Colt revolver and handmade double-barrel shotgun.

"The items weren’t found at Fort Griffin, but they were really nice artifacts and they won’t be here to benefit the public. That’s the real tragedy," Galbreath said.

Galbreath would love to have the stolen weapons back in his possession to display during the upcoming Fort Griffin Frontier Times, a full-scale re-enactment event scheduled Sept. 17-19 designed to recreate Texas’ last frontier circa 1880.

Anyone with information about the stolen property should contact the Shackelford Sheriff’s Office at (325) 762-2000.

Fort Griffin is located on U.S. Highway 283, 15 miles north of Albany about an hour’s drive northeast of Abilene and two hours west of Fort Worth. For park information, call (325) 762-3592.